When I started blogging in 2012, creating a Facebook page linked to the blog was a natural move. Every blogger had one. I followed a few bloggers’ Facebook pages and even found new bloggers via Facebook shares.
As time went on, the powers that be tightened up the feeds, so to speak. Users don’t want to see dozens of posts from the possibly hundreds of pages they liked, Facebook said. They want to see more pics of your cousin’s baby and more vaguebooking from their friend’s niece and more conspiracy theory posts from Uncle Buster.
Another update recently happened, as described in this article. If you don’t want to click over, allow me to summarize: Facebook is further tightening the screws on Pages. That means page owners see an even smaller organic reach (followers who see page posts in their feeds) than they did before, and it was pretty dismal before.
I’ve seen the effects of this on my author page. As I write this post, it has 818 followers, which is good for a new-ish author like me but tiny when compared to the entire Facebook universe. Check out the reach for a few recent posts, in both number and percentage of page following.
You can see how the higher interaction post had greater reach. We’ll get to that in a minute.
Do this long enough and you’ll see a pattern: posts with some interaction earn about 10% reach. Greater interaction and shares = more reach, but even that one with a share only reached 25% of the number of followers.
For an author trying to get their work out there, reaching only 10% of people who liked your page and wanted to hear from you sucks big time.
It is possible to increase engagement on your Facebook page, as I described in this post. Higher post engagement can lead to more organic reach. The flip side of this is publishing posts that get no engagement can lead to a smaller reach for all posts.
That means if you publish a bunch of posts that get no interaction, Facebook decides your page has less value and will show your posts to even fewer followers. Yikes.
Does that mean Facebook is a waste of time for page owners and more specifically, for authors who want to promote their work?
It depends on what you’re trying to do.
If you’re on Facebook to sell books and you’re not a huge name, you’re gonna have a bad time. I can probably count on one hand the number of books I’ve sold that came from Facebook links and ads.
But if you’re using it as part of your platform and for visibility, it is useful. Don’t forget that visibility and exposure count in ultimately selling your book. People are more likely to buy products they recognize.
And there are tricks you can use to grow overall reach – that’s organic + paid reach.
Trick 1: Ask followers to adjust their settings for your page.
If they go to a page and hover the cursor over the button that says “Liked”, a little menu will drop down. They can click “see first”, meaning your posts will appear first in their news feeds.
Trick 2: Remind followers of the Pages Feed on their home page.
It’s in the left column if they’re on their computer. That’s where posts from pages you’ve liked appear – but in no sensible way. I find most posts there are days old, but at least I get to see them.
Trick 3: Strategically boost posts.
When it comes to book and brand promotion, you have to think of Facebook as a paid platform if you want significant reach. But be smart about it. Boost posts that will get your cover in front of as many faces as possible. You can boost for as little as $5 and target audiences – which you should do. You want the users most likely to engage to see your post.
Trick 4: Remember quality over quantity.
If you remember nothing else from this post, remember this because it’s the most important: greater interaction = greater reach. If you post several posts every day and get minimal interaction, Facebook will limit your reach even further. Be picky about what you post. Encourage interaction by asking a question or share something funny that had a lot of interaction on another page. Odds are good you’ll get some interaction from it too.
This point is especially true when you pair it with the first trick – if followers see your posts first in their feeds and your posts are boring/annoying/incessant, at best they’ll change their setting back to where they don’t see you as much, and at worst they’ll unlike your page. Make sure the stuff you post is worth seeing.
Are you an author/blogger with a Facebook page? Share any tips you have in the comments!